Has your son who’s 5’ 4” (or shorter) told you that he’s going to be an NBA player? Has your beautiful daughter who has weak ankles and knees spoken to you about her dream of becoming a prima ballerina? Does your son who has absolutely NO rhythm and can’t carry a tune in a bucket proclaimed himself to be a bona fide rock star?
That last one is mine. My son has identified himself as a rock star since he was a toddler. I’ve decided to go along with the dream even though I cringe a little every time he sings. That’s what moms are for – to help their children do whatever it takes, within reason, to achieve their goals. He’s also demanded at different times that he’s going to be president, the King of bowling, and a WWE superstar. I agree enough to give him self-confidence but we both know none of those things are likely to happen.
It’s one thing when the dreams children dream aren’t feasible because their bodies just aren’t built that way. Not everyone can be a professional athlete or leader of the free world. [Not going there but wouldn’t it be nice if someone with Down syndrome ruled the world.]
But what about when the dream is physically possible, but not “socially acceptable?” Continue reading I Can Be a Father (With Down Syndrome)
If he was here, what would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. say and do about the current issues in our community?
Today, as we celebrate Dr.King’s impact on our world, it’s a good time to reflect on our advocacy in the disability community. Most would agree that MLK would have something to say about the rallies and demonstrations around race and policing. Would he branch out and extend his hand to include the disability community in his work? I think he would. While some question, and even criticize efforts to widen the discussion of improved policing to include other disenfranchised groups, I believe Dr. King would be among the first to emphasize that #AllLivesMatter.
Continue reading WWMLKD? – Civil Rights and Down Syndrome
This is one time that I am happy to be proven wrong! There was a great deal of “spirited debate” about Governor O’Malley’s response to Emma’s petition on Change.org. Some of us were disappointed that he only committed to one of the two requests: training, but not an independent investigation. Some thought “training” was meant to placate a grieving family – a political move more than a real solution. Some even thought training would be dangerous and serve to further stigmatize our loved ones.
The Right Leadership
I for one, was more hopeful about the Commission once I heard who was going to be at the helm. If anyone could take the opportunity and make the best of it – it was Tim Shriver.
Behind the Headlines
Continue reading Md Commission on Inclusion – Ethan Saylor’s Legacy is About Much More than Training
By Stephanie Holland
I feel physically ill
I first heard the name Willobrook as a graduate student in the Disability Studies program at Syracuse University. During a course taught by Steven J. Taylor
, we looked at disability in different media. It was a tremendous course, taught by a very skilled professor, researcher, and community advocate. Thinking back on it, I remember my own poor performance as a student. It was one of my worst. Watching this video makes the emotional and physical reactions I had to the content come rushing back. I’m completely aware of WHY I couldn’t bring my A game to this course. (Trigger warning: This video is painful to watch for anyone, but parents of children with an intellectual disability will find it almost unbearable.)
Continue reading Remembering Willowbrook